Friday, December 28, 2007


Solid work

Apart from eating and drinking over Christmas I have also been busy experimenting with extruding solid blocks of HDPE :-

This has given me some insights into extruded layered manufacture and also produced a lot of scrap !

There are some facts and figures in my blog for anyone who is interested :-

There are lots more things I want to try but I have to repair my extruder first :-

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Molded Extruder Build Pix

Steve DeGroof has assembled his cast extruder, and has some nice build pix up. If you bought a kit and were wondering exactly how things were supposed to be assembled, like what to do with the bearings then check his post out.

His blog is a good source of info. Thanks Steve!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


HDPE bed material

I have found that kitchen chopping boards make a good base material to extrude HDPE onto. It adheres very well, which reduces the warping to a minimum, but surprisingly it can also be removed easily with little damage to the board, so it can be reused over and over again.

More details here:

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Friday, December 07, 2007


Wired up - again

Finally got some time to put the whole thing back together again. The picture shows it all - and definitely some colorful wiring. Did some upgrades/changes to some of the components (major are the aluminum corner brackets with M5 tapped holes to fix the rods, larger discs for the Z pulleys, new Y motor holder for). It's definitely much sturdier than the previous version with wooden corner brackets. Next step is alignment of this Cartesian contraption and soon I should also have some replacement parts for the extruder, so I can attempt to get something made as well.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Moulded RP Parts (at last!)

Moulded RP parts are now available.

We can supply individual parts or complete kits of Moulded RP parts and in the next day or two should have complete kits of all Hardware our target price is under £300 + vat for a complete kit including motors etc etc....

Please also note the Moulded parts also included the Pulleys which have been moulded in to the drive connectors this saves $83.70 (McMaster) and also means the Y motor shaft does not need cutting down, if only we could mould the timing belts!!!

Please browse around the web site we are working hard to improve the site so as well as a shop it will also be a useful source of information, any comments would be very well received.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Machinist Help Needed

Time to harness the collective power of the internet! After the initial release of the Thermoplast Extruder kit, I've been swamped with orders and have exhausted my supply of machined parts. The person who originally did them has not responded to my emails, so I'd like to ask the community for help.

Basically, I need to find a machinist, or someone who is willing to spend 10-20 hours every few weeks to make me the parts I need. Since the response on the extruder kits was so good, I'd like to do an order of 50 sets of machined parts, and if that goes well, many future orders to follow.

Here's what I need, specifically:

50 x PTFE thermal barrier
50 x Drive Screw Assembly (ideally, already soldered)
50 x Heater Barrel (made from 3/8" aluminum studding. i only need it cut + drilled, no assembly required)

What I do not need suppliers for are:

* nozzles
* half-bearings

although, feel free to get quotes on those as well. i sure wouldn't mind having someone else make those instead of me.

More details are on the mechanical parts wiki page.

What I'm hoping the community can do is go out, scour the internet, and solicit quotes from people and then either post them back here, or email them to me directly at One of the awesome, new things about open source hardware is that with many eyes, we can find the best prices and then pass that on to everyone else!

If you ask for a quote, feel free to mention that it is for the RRRF, send them the website, and just generally be honest and up front. Ideally, I would like to find a company that is interested in making these for us, but I'd be willing to get them from the right person, so long as they will be reliable and prompt.

Thanks, and good luck!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


We printed 2 cups!!!

This weekend we printed 2 cups one for each of us my son and myself but have not the chance yet to toast with my son. Here is a picture of the cup and a short video of it in the middle of being printed..

you can also read some more new posts on our blog


DXF Commandline Tools

Hey all,

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with commandline tools for working with DXF files. Specifically, I'm trying to create a 'build script' for the McWire Cartesian Bot design, which is all DXF files. I'd love to be able to automatically create SVG, PDF, PNG, or EPS files. Its pretty much a requirement that the tools be free, but I also might be open to low cost or shareware based tools if they are cheap.

Please post in the comments if you have any suggestions.


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